Chimo! Eskimo Calypso chosen as a top 20 Finalist in the presetigious 11th Annual “Unisong” International Song contest created for songwriters… by songwriters.
Eskimo Calypso was written in Toronto Canada 1988. It was conceived after reading an article by James Lovelock about the greenhouse effect and climate change in the polar regions. A transformational concern for the planet came over me and remains with me to this day. It was at a time when scientists like James Lovelock were alone speaking out about the catastrophic effects of global warming and its impact on the polar ice caps. Today 20 years later I witness the effect that the melting north has on the Inuit people and the impending impact on our world. When this song was written, the Inuit people had no voice in mainstream media and we knew little about their struggle to maintain an ancient way of life. Although Canadians now refer to the northern people as Inuit, in the eighties we still referred to them as Eskimo thus the original title was Eskimo Calypso. Some consider use of the title Eskimo Calypso as an ignorant choice or even worse racist. I am aware of this and choose to continue singing Eskimo Calypso because of its light hearted irony and its potential for creating awareness of climate change in the north. Inuit listening to the song laugh and notice within the body of the song a phrase I am Inuit in Inuktituk language to honor them as the people. Perhaps this song may bring attention to the Inuit eroding way of life in a changing land. My hope is that in some small way, it helps give them a stronger voice in world affairs.
Life in the north is becoming uncertain and the weather Oogianaktook unfamiliar.